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Elemag (Greek: Ἐλεμάγος) or Elinag Phrantzes (Ἐλίναγος ὁ Φραντζὴς) was, according to the history of John Skylitzes, a general and governor of Belegrada (modern Berat in Albania) for the First Bulgarian Empire under Tsar Samuel. In 1018, he was among the Bulgarian leaders who surrendered their strongholds to the Byzantine emperor Basil II, thereby ending the independence of Bulgaria. He was granted the title of patrikios and sent to live at Thessalonica.

Before that, Elemag as one of the generals of the King of Bulgaria Samuel, killed Gregory Taronit in a duel - Gregory was the leading general of Emperor Basil II in the fight against the Byzantine army outside Thessalonica in ~ the year 996 AD in the Battle of Thessalonica (995). Gregory's son Ashot was taken live as a prisoner in this battle. It is believed that Elemag was a master of the dark sciences of the Balkans and used to drink special herbal concoctions. Tsar Samuel tried to make peace with Basil II several times but the latter insisted on the Bulgarians to pay homage to the Emperor Basil II as supreme leader representative of God on earth. The Byzantines used Arab/Armenian mercenaries in their armies which marched against Bulgaria. The Bulgarians had to resort to guerilla tactics because their army was smaller than the Byzantine army. The Byzantines also released many criminals from Thessaloniki's prisons to pillage and terrorize Bulgarian villages. These terrorists were called the Carrion-Eaters and as a counter tactic, the Bulgarians formed anti-terrorist groups consisting of hardened fighters called the Wolves.

This battle was after the Battle of the Gates of Trajan battle in 986 AD where the Byzantine army was almost annihilated.[1]

Elemag Point on Livingston Island, Antarctica, has been named after him.


  1. ^ The Three Lives of Krakra - Book II by Anton Donchev


  • Curta, Florin (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250. Cambridge University Press. p. 246. ISBN 978-0521815390.